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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Behavior Chart

 I'm reposting one of my old posts from a couple of years ago that is saving my sanity this summer!
A challenge I face with four kiddos under 10 is how to be consistent in behavior rewards and consequences.  In the past I've found great ideas that worked well for a few weeks.  But in the end they all required me to keep track of too much stuff, and when I became overwhelmed, the rewards stopped.

This Behavior Chart has worked for us for a couple of years now because:
  • It's really helped my kids see instant rewards/consequences for their behavior choices
  • It allows them to work towards goals they set
  • The best part is that I don't have to maintain or keep track of anything.  That last benefit is the primary reason the system is still working!  : )
The inspiration came from a system my son's teacher used at school, but it's simple enough that my preschoolers have also used it with success.  I printed up the words I chose to use on colored cardstock and then laminated them. The colors I chose obviously reflect traffic light colors (go forward, slow down, stop).  Then I cut a foam board down to the size I wanted and glued the strips to the board.

The kids all decorated their own wooden clothespins (ownership!).  My awesome husband installed a little shelf in the kitchen, I screwed two hooks on the bottom to hold the chart, and we've been in business ever since.  The kitchen is the center of our home, so it works well in that room so that the kids can easily monitor where they're at, behavior-wise.

On top of the shelf is a jar full of pompoms and three smaller jars. The kids set goals for something they really want, and then when their jars are full of pompoms, they earn their prizes. Each time they reach "Awesome" they earn a pompom.  If someone has stayed on awesome until the end of the night (our toughest time), they get five pompoms.  Each morning all clips begin again at "Good Job."

Throughout the day when I see good or poor behavior, all I have to do is say: "Move your clip (up) (down),"and they do all the rest.  Because of the desired goal/prize, they never forget to remind me when they've earned pompoms!  And I love that it frees my mind up for other things. 

 Second Son loves demonstrating for the camera.  Can you tell?  : )
Here's hoping we can all enjoy the rest of the summer with domestic peace and tranquility--at least every now and then.  : )